Why a National Collection?
We had been growing Water Irises at the Nursery since 1985 and had found that not only were many plants misnamed, but in the pursuit of greater numbers to meet the demands of the "water-garden industry"; many were disappearing due to being propagated by seed, where they seldom come true; rather than by division. By 2001 we had amassed about 120 varieties from only 4 species and having already held two National Collections it seemed sensible to create a third in order to conserve these plants. Accordingly the Collection was awarded recognition in August 2002.
The irises grow naturally in ponds in our acre of Gardens, and as many species are too rampant for smaller ponds we have done a lot of work selecting and breeding varieties that will be more suitable for this kind of situation. We are proud to record that we have been able to rescue the iris "Crystal Phoenix". We were given this lovely plant from the USA by its creator Greg Speichert shortly before his nursery was destroyed. This event underlines the importance of the establishment of a duplicate collection, and we are in the process of achieving a duplicate collection.